How to make your own perfume

Why would you make your own fragrance?

Perfume“Fragrance” is found in so many products, but did you know that manufacturers are not required to list ingredients in “fragrance” on the label?  So what is fragrance anyway?

According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, “fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world.”  One great way to avoid harmful fragrance is to make your own from simple, pure ingredients.

Essential oils

Essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted from plants that contain the key scent or essence of that plant.  They are usually sold as pure or 100% liquids in small dropper bottles.  Prices of essential oils vary widely depending on the oil.

You can find essentials oils in most health food stores or you can order online.  One brand you will see often is Aura Cacia – you can learn more about essential oils and order online on the Aura Cacia website.

Building a fragrance

“Notes” are the building blocks of fragrances, usually broken down into base, middle, and top notes.  What you smell first in a fragrance is the top note, what you smell next is the middle note, and after those dissipate you can smell base notes.  To build a basic fragrance, choose one or more essential oils from each category.

Here are some examples of essential oils in each category – you may notice some essential oils may be considered part of multiple categories.

Base notes:

  • Cedar
  • Cinnamon
  • Patchouli
  • Sandalwood
  • Vanilla
  • Vetiver

Middle notes:

  • Clove
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Melissa (Lemongrass)
  • Neroli
  • Rose
  • Ylang ylang

Top notes:

  • Bergamot
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Rose

How to make your own perfume

Testing:

  1. First, remember to always write down exactly what oils and amounts you are using.
  2. In a clean bottle, combine 1 drop each of your base, middle, and top notes.
  3. Close the bottle, keep it vertical, and roll it in your hands for about 30 seconds to mix the oils, then open the bottle and smell the blend.
  4. Decide if you want to add any new oils or increase any of the notes, then smell it again.
  5. You may also want to leave your blend closed for a few hours and smell it again to make sure you are happy with it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 glass spray bottle (I used a 30mL bottle)
  • 15mL vodka
  • 2.5mL jojoba oil
  • Essential oils of your choice (about 30-50 drops total)
  • 15mL spring water
  • 5-10mL glycerine (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend your chosen essential oils in your glass bottle and test as outlined above.
  2. Once you are satisfied with your blend, add jojoba oil and vodka to your bottle.
  3. Close the bottle and shake to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
  4. Let the mixture sit for 48 hours up to 6 weeks.  Allowing the blend to sit will allow the fragrance to develop.
  5. Smell your blend regularly and when you are satisfied with it, add 15mL of spring water, shake thoroughly, then filter through a coffee filter.
  6. You can also add 5-10mL of glycerine to your mixture to help retain the fragrance longer.

Ideas to get started

Here are two recipes I used to make my own perfume:

Recipe 1:

  • 13 drops sandalwood
  • 12 drops jasmine
  • 12 drops lavendar

Recipe 2:

  • 12 drops sandalwood
  • 14 drops jasmine
  • 12 drops lavender
  • 5 drops ylang ylang

About Kate Whimster, ND

I am a Toronto Naturopathic Doctor described as passionate, knowledgeable, professional, and encouraging by my patients.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 8 healthy gift ideas - Kate Whimster, Toronto Naturopath - December 5, 2013

    […] Why not create a fragrance as unique as your loved one?  Buy a beautiful glass bottle, choose a few delicious essential oils, and get creative!  Full instructions plus some ideas can be found in my blog on How to make your own perfume. […]

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